A rapid method for assessing the suitability of quenching agents for individual biocides as well as combinations

M.D. Johnston, R.J.W. Lambert, Geoff Hanlon, Stephen Denyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: To develop a novel, rapid method for testing the ability of quenching agents to neutralize disinfectants. Methods and Results: Tests were performed to determine the suitability of different neutralizers for a range of disinfectants, using a new method based on the Bioscreen optical density analyser. Results showed that during disinfection tests, efficacy could be over-estimated due to poor, or no, neutralization of the disinfectant after a specified time of exposure to the bacteria. The failure to distinguish adequately between bacteriostatic and bactericidal effects can lead to false results during disinfectant testing. Experiments also showed that dilution of the disinfectant, following exposure to the bacteria, was not always sufficient to stop the activity of the disinfectant for chemicals with low dilution coefficients. Conclusions: The quench test proved to be very quick and easy to perform, with results being available within 18 h. Using the Bioscreen, the test is automated and determines whether dilution into a particular neutralizer is able to inactivate a disinfectant within 30 s. Significance and Impact of the Study: This new approach allows the efficacy of quenching agents to be determined, prior to undertaking each disinfection study, and can help in the development of more suitable quenching solutions. The test has also been used to find suitable neutralizers for mixtures of disinfectants which might be used during studies on synergistic biocide combinations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)784-789
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2002


Dive into the research topics of 'A rapid method for assessing the suitability of quenching agents for individual biocides as well as combinations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this